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Morning-after pill row, botox for MS and why pregnancy is contagious

Our round-up of health news headlines on Tuesday 9 August

Our round-up of health news headlines on Tuesday 9 August.

No longer being used just to smooth celebrity wrinkles, The Times reports that Botox has been approved for helping incontinence sufferers. Allergen, who owns the muscle-freezing treatment, will now be able to market it for use in Europe for patients with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries who develop urinary incontinence. 

The Daily Telegraph reveals a religious row is brewing over chemists who fear getting sacked for refusing to hand out morning-after pills, after new guidelines issued by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) last week. The guidance prevents chemists, many of whom are Christian, Jewish and Muslim, objecting to handling those drugs, including those for IVF, on religious grounds. However, the GPhC said the document was open to review after one year.

Getting pregnant can be contagious according to The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. They  talk about the 'peer effect', when a  younger sister is twice as likely to become a teenage mother if her older sister is a teenage mother. Researchers at the University of Bristol said that the effect 'dwarfs' the impact of education on decreasing teenage pregnancy rates and was stronger when sisters were closer in age and in poor households.

Here's something to get worked up about. The Independent states that anger helps managers to get results, according to a study by academics from the University of Liverpool. Their research concludes that instead of suppressing anger at work, it ought to be harnessed more.

The Daily Telegraph reports that older lung cancer patients would be better treated by being given 'doublet' chemotherapy instead of monotherapy. The study, published in The Lancet, found that those given platinum-based doublet chemotherapy survived, on average, four months longer than those given gemcitabine or vinorelbine. However, treatment could prove a double-edged sword as the authors warned that those taking doublet chemotherapy were four times as likely to have fewer white blood cells.

 

 

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